In that chat that me and Patrick had yesterday, about Christianity and its influence, I mentioned, for some reason, how part of the reason the Shard is shaped like the Shard is that it is also shaped like the steeple of a typical sort of London church.
The little game I played there with the two spires, as I walked back towards the middle of London from the Greenwich Peninsula, is exactly the sort of thing Renzo Piano had in mind when he designed his spire.
Earlier today, Patrick Crozier and I recorded another of our recorded conversations (by and by it will appear here). Patrick laid out the agenda which was Christianity, and how, although he could never believe in it, nenevertheless regrets the diminution of its influence on our world.
He mentioned the way the Western Roman Empire fell apart after it had been conquered by Christianity (echoing Gibbon, although I didn’t say that; he mentioned ecclesiastical architecture; he mentioned the intimate relationship between Christianity and secular power; and at one point we rather digressed, into the matter of French domestic architecture.
Here are four photos I photoed in Quimper, Brittany, exactly one year ago to the day, which illustrate these various talking points:
Photo 1.1 a history lesson inside Qumper Cathedral which covers the ground Patrick alluded to about the Roman Empire (protected by glass, hence the reflection of the stained glass window).. Photo 1.2 is a view of one of the towers of Quimper Cathedral, as seen from the other tower. Photo 2.1 is of an equestrian statue, from the same spot. And finally, 2.2, also from the same spot, is a photo looking out over the city of Quimper.
The weather could have been a lot brighter, but you are only allowed to the top of Quimper Cathedral on the one day each year, and April 29th 2018 was the day that it was
I will greatly miss Quimper and its Cathedral, now that my friends in France no longer live there. I won’t be going back on my own, just to see it but not them.
When you are young, and you realise something true and important, this is evidence of how clever you are, even if what it is that you have just realised was really rather obvious. (And everything is obvious, once you’ve understood it. That’s what understanding is.)
When you are old, however, and you realise something true and important, this is evidence of how stupid you are for not having understood it about forty or fifty years sooner than you did. (Because everything is obvious, blah blah.)
This has happened to me twice in the last fortnight. I will not complicate this posting by confessing what these two very different but very obvious things were, but trust me, they were very obvious indeed.
Yes, I like to photo signposts. You know where you are, with signposts.
Here’s a signpost photo I photoed in March 2012:
But there’s more to it than just having a note of where I was, useful though that is. There’s something about actually seeing those particular names of particular places which makes the fact that this is where I really am – and then later: was – come particularly alive.
As you can tell from the previous paragraph, I don’t really know how to explain this fascination of mine. And just now, I am too knackered, having spent the day recovering from a Last Friday of the Month meeting that happened last night. Dominique Lazanski: very good. My front room: very full. Aftermath: lots of crap to tidy up.
Yesterday was a day when I had to be very energetic and alive, to get ready for that meeting. So, I was. (Hence those four blog postings yesterday.) Today, I could be knackered. So, I was.
One of the first things I did in France, after I got off the plane and had been driven by my hosts to their home, was to meet up with Oscar again. Remember Oscar? Oscar is the cat, who got lost and found, partly thanks to the photos I took of him, but mostly because of GodDaughter2’s social media expertise. She located him, in France, while not even being in France.
Here is one of the first photos I photoed of Oscar this time around:
I like that photo because it looks like we are looking at each other horizontally, but are actually …:
… looking at each other vertically, him upwards and me photoing downwards. Those being my feet, at the bottom there. On the right, the light of the south of France on the floor of the balcony outside the bedroom I was in.
The earlier photos I linked back to were taken in their Brittany home, but now my friends are more permanently in Thuir, way down south, near Perpignan. Oscar doesn’t like car journeys (stuck in a small prison hardly bigger than he is), but he has no objections to actually being in a different house. Somewhere new to explore.
In this blog posting, someone called Judge Ellis is quoted saying, somewhere in America, some time recently or not so recently, in connection with something Trump-related, this:
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud – what you really care about is what information Mr Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment.
“This vernacular to ‘sing’ is what prosecutors use. What you’ve got to be careful of is that they may not only sing, they may compose.”
Good expression. Never heard it before, although it must have been around for decades.
Fifteen years ago today, on April 24th 2004, at the Parliament end of Westminster Bridge, I took a clutch of photos of a guy who was photoing the London Eye from that spot:
So far so ordinary. Not so ordinary, however, is that he was using a mobile phone. This is one of the earliest sightings I have found in the archives of mobile phone photoing, a trend only resisted now by freaks like me who care lots about photoing, but almost nothing about instantly communicating, of photos or of anything much else.